Forty-four Junes ago Ed and I went to Nova Scotia for our honeymoon staying in Halifax for five nights. Even though we didn’t get off the southern hard coast much, we loved it and always wanted to come again. Now, after all these years we have made it back. However, having never seen the icebergs in Newfoundland, we decided they were a priority and not having a good idea about how long into summer they last and knowing we have to pass back this way, we cut our visit here short. So, we jumped onto the Trans Canada to circle Cape Breton on the way to North Sydney and the ferry, but I am getting ahead of myself…
Coming into the province from New Brunswick on the Trans Canada Hwy 104 we took 302 just outside of Amherst over to 242, the scenic route heading for Joggins Fossil Cliffs. Large seams of coal were the big draw here starting back in 1686, but the fossil record of the 310 million year old rainforest ecosystem is what earned the cliffs a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation.
Running back on Collector Highway 242 to 320 and then Trunk Highway 2 we drove through huge hills or perhaps little mountains covered with forests with a lovely mix of conifers and deciduous trees. As near as I can figure it, “collector” is like our general route, “trunk” is like a county route, provincial is equal to state and then there’s the Trans Canada which even though the number changes is equal to our interstates.
We were headed to Truro to see the tidal bore created as the Bay of Fundy tide flows up the Salmon River. A tidal bore is created when the incoming tide flows into a narrow river or bay of out flowing water with enough force to create a wave. Depending on the size of the tide, as you probably know they vary with the moon, season, and wind force, a tidal bore maybe several inches or many feet tall. While not an overwhelming sight, it was still very cool to watch and see it roll up the river past us.
For $7 we crossed and headed off on what the map has marked as a scenic route and a place called Washabuck Center. Who could resist? We didn’t know for sure where we went but it turns out there are also Upper Washabuck and Lower Washabuck and somewhere in the middle is perhaps the worst road we’ve ever been on! A car passed us at one point and you should have seen the shocked look on the driver’s face when he saw us in our RV! We survived and so did Whack-A-Mole Wheels 🙂
NOTE: Fellow campers, we have stayed in a growing number of provincial parks which range from dry camping to 3-way (water, electric, sewer) sites and most are very nice. Be sure to check them out.
The Cabot Trail around Cape Breton Highlands National Park of Canada is a world famous drive and with good reason.
We headed north to do the route counter-clockwise planning to catch the ferry to Newfoundland at North Sydney on the eastern side of Nova Scotia. From the road we spied the Calvin United Whale Cove Cemetery on the hillside at Margaree Harbour and headed out the dirt road for a look.
We spent two nights at Hideaway Campground & Oyster Market at Dingwall were we not only had a lovely view, but a good dinner of their farm raised oysters and very sweet lobster off their son’s boat.
We diverted off the Cabot Trail and headed further up the northern peninsula for the village of Capstick where the paved road ends and then on up the dirt road to Meat Cove the most northern community in Nova Scotia and the tip of the province.
On the way back we stopped at Cabot’s Landing Provincial Park on Aspy Bay where some believe John Cabot landed in 1497. There is little known for sure and some disagreement, but suffice to say everyone agrees he was the first European to land in North America except for the Norsemen but that’s an upcoming blog post 🙂
We spent this night at Broad Cove Campground back in the national park, and suggest fellow campers, that it also be a stop for the night on your trip.
On the eastern side of the Cabot Trail the roads are rougher, much steeper and not as pretty. Maybe in the future they’ll be improved like those bits under construction over on the western side. We did take a short walk at Cape Smokey and saw Lady Slippers!
Next blog posting…..Newfoundland!